REVAMP: Hard ground has been partly blamed for delays to the reopening of Stainton Grove tip
REVAMP: Hard ground has been partly blamed for delays to the reopening of Stainton Grove tip

DELAYS to a £2million revamp of Stainton Grove Recycling Centre mean the tip may now not reopen until next Easter.

Work began to upgrade facilities in April and Durham County Council, which operates the tip, intended it to be back up and running before Christmas.

However, members of Barnard Castle Town Council were told last week this had now been pushed back into 2019.

The recycling centre is being expanded so it can accept a greater range of rubbish from residents, who must now continue to use alternative facilities – the nearest of which are at Middleton-in-Teesdale or Romanway Industrial Estate, Tindale Crescent, Bishop Auckland.

Work at Stainton Grove progressed during the summer and by August, the old waste units had been demolished and ground work for the new buildings had been completed. Additionally, two steel structures were in place.

And despite the delay, Oliver Sherratt, head of direct services at Durham County Council, insisted the improvements were “progressing well”. He added: “We anticipate the facility will reopen to the public by Easter at the latest. This is a time when use of our household waste and recycling centres increases.

“Unfortunately, unforeseen circumstances, including harder than envisaged ground material and the depth of existing utilities, led to a short delay with the work.

“However, these issues have been overcome and the project currently remains on budget, as contingencies were factored in.

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“We had hoped residents would be able to recycle their Christmas trees at the centre in January, but as this will not be possible.”

As a result, Christmas tree collection will take place at the car park next to Morrisons, as in previous years.

Trees will be collected from the car park between Tuesday, January 8, and Friday, January 11.

Mr Sherratt added: “We would like to thank the people of Teesdale for their patience, and we look forward to welcoming them into this new and improved facility.”

The county council unveiled plans to expand Stainton Grove tip 2016 but work didn’t start until this year, once the authority had received funds for the project.

Council officials hope that by taking in a much wider range of rubbish than previously and opening seven days a week, the new-look Stainton Grove tip will lead to a reduction in fly-tipping across the dale.

The recycling centres at Middleton-in-Teesdale and Bishop Auckland are open seven days a week, 9am to 3.30pm. There is also a tip at Heighington, which opens all week, 9am to 3.30pm.